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National Needlework Archive

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The Old Chapel Textile Centre in Newbury, home of the National Needlework Archive, offer courses, workshops and exhibitions in sewing, haberdashery,  needlecraft, textiles, embroidery, cross stitch, quilting and textile art. Our shop carries an extensive range of all needlework and sewing products including fabric, threads, wool, zips and patterns. We have an archive of historic textiles and patterns and are home to The Country Wife mural.

Poetry in Stitches

Thank you to everyone who took part in Poetry in Stitches ‘Lockdown’.  It was lovely to see the new pictures and poems and think about all the different emotions lockdown engendered.

Some of the pictures and poems are currently on show at The Old Chapel.

Gallery

He didn’t know her, but she smiled - by Cidalia Gray

He didn’t know her

But she smiled

And he needed that today

And he smiled back

And she walked past

And carried on the other way

And he walked on

And he kept pace

And other people passed his way

And he smiled

And they smiled back

And they needed that today

And they walked on

And he walked on

And other people passed their ways

And they smiled

And they smiled back

And others walked towards

And then away

And she got home

And she won’t know

How many

Lives were changed

Because she smiled

And he smiled back

And she needed that today


Hollie McNish

Artist Statement by Cidalia Gray

Inspiration taken from the poem: He didn’t Know Her, But She Smiled by Hollie McNish


In March 2020 I began a lockdown cross stitch project. Each day I added one image to the fabric which represented either an important event, a significant symbol of my time locked down or an important person in my life. It was made particularly significant because I was living alone in Guatemala, where I had moved to only two months earlier. I used social media to reach out to my own network and also to wider groups, and as time went on, most of the images were suggested by others as being things which had been important to them. It gave me a focus for each day, a reason to communicate with other people, and a creative outlet, and because I published each day’s addition, I also received a lot of messages from people telling me how they had become part of their daily routine, and how much they looked forward to seeing what was added each day. After taking a repatriation flight in June 2020 and life getting closer to normal, I stopped the cross stitch but have recently finished the project with a final few suggestions to summarise the overall experience of 2020.

  

During the lockdown it was so important to feel connected to other people, no matter how far away they were, and this provided this to me and many others. There were very happy images, some funny stories and some that brought me to tears, but all of them reminded me that there was a world out there waiting for us at the end of this time. Similarly, the poem reminds me of the impact we all have on each other, all the time. A tiny gesture can change someone’s whole day, and what could be more important than that?

 In my Blakean Year - by Kate Aimson

In my Blakean Year


In my Blakean year

I was so disposed

Toward a mission yet unclear

Advancing pole by pole


Fortune breathed into my ear

Mouthed a simple ode

One road is paved in gold

One road is just a road


In my Blakean year

Such a woeful schism

The pain of our existence

Was not as I envisioned


Boots that trudged

From track to track

Worn down to the sole

One road is paved in gold

One road is just a road

In my Blakean year

Temptation but a hiss

Just a shallow spear

Robed in cowardice


Brace yourself

For bitter flack

For a life sublime

A labyrinth of riches

Never shall unwind


The threads that bind

The pilgrim’s sack

Are stitched

Into the Blakean back


So throw off your stupid cloak

Embrace all that you fear

For joy shall conquer all despair

In my Blakean year

In my Blakean year

In my Blakean year


PATTI SMITH

Artist statement by Kate Aimson

Inspiration taken from In My Blakean Year by Patti Smith


My picture uses techniques of English Paper Piecing, as developed by myself, including the use of reversed pieces and seams, and applique.


I did understand literally the meaning of the words “In My Blaken Year”, but somehow emotionally they described the year (and more) we have been through.  The duality of “One road is paved in gold, one road is just a road” spoke to how you can change what is happening to you by how you felt about it.

The Corona virus has been such a long road for us all. I have been flying between the UK and the Falklands, living in Lockdown and out of Lockdown. I have longed to be out of this crisis, but by now I am just used to it.

The Orange - by Shaili Patel

The Orange


At lunchtime I bought a huge orange -

The size of it made us all laugh.

I peeled it and shared it with Robert and Dave -

They got quarters and I got a half.


And that orange, it made me so happy,

As ordinary things often do

Just lately. The shopping. A walk in the park.

This peace and contentment. It’s new

The rest of the day was quite easy.

I did all the jobs on my list

And enjoyed them and had some time over

I love you. I’m glad I exist.


By Wendy Cope

Artist Statement by Shaili Patel

Inspiration taken from the poem The Orange by Wendy Cope


I have crocheted a range of fruit including oranges which are depicted in the poem. I chose this poem because it reflects some of the events which we could not do in lockdown such as meet friends, but also the ones that we could do such as go for walks and be content with nature.

Hope is a thing with feathers - by Judith Good

Hope is the thing with feathers


Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul,

And sings the tune without the words,

And never stops at all,


And sweetest in the gale is heard;

And sore must be the storm

That could abash the little bird

That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,

And on the strangest sea;

Yet, never, in extremity,

It asked a crumb of me.


Emily Dickinson

Artist Statement by Judith Good

Inspiration taken from the poem Hope is the thing with feathers by Emily Dickinson


I have used a mix of techniques to create my picture. Printing words on fabric, painting fabric with inktense inks, hand and machine stitching and free motion machine embroidery.

I started bird watching in lockdown and saw many ‘Little Brown Jobs’ which I have enjoyed learning to identify – and even in the seemingly most mundane of birds I have found a beauty and fascination – even where I wasn’t expecting to find beauty it was there if I looked. ‘Hope’ has been hard to hang on to during this year of mostly scary strange words and events we have all become used to – and the world has seemed very grey and full of danger (hence the red backing to my piece) – but the beauty of a single birds feather has given me hope that Mother Nature will continue her work and help us get well.

It has been a long hard slog – I live alone and have not had the opportunity to bubble up with anyone so I have been very much alone. My mental health has been poor and I have turned to nature to find solace and hope.                             


The Song Thrush and the Mountain Ash - by Sue Redhead

The Song Thrush and the Mountain Ash

‘Through the hospital window

she said to me

she’d forgotten the name

of her special tree,

and forgotten the name

of her favourite bird.

Through the hospital window

I mouthed the words:

the song thrush and the mountain ash.

Through the hospital window

she asked again

why I stood outside

in the wind and rain,

and said she didn’t

understand

why I didn’t want

to touch her hand.

The song thrush and the mountain ash.


She said she liked

the flowers I sent

but wondered why

they had no scent,

and why the food

had lost its taste,

and why the nurse

had covered her face?

And why the gates of the park were shut?

And why the shops were boarded up?

And why the swings were tied in knots?

And the music ... why had the music stopped?

Through the hospital window

I called her name

and waited a while

but she never came,

then I saw reflected

in the glass

the song thrush

and the mountain ash.

The song thrush and the mountain ash. ‘
Simon Armitage, Poet Laureate

Artist Statement by Susan Redhead

Inspiration from the poem The Song Thrush and the Mountain Ash by Simon Armitage


I chose this poem as it was written during the pandemic by the poet laureate and evokes a sense of loss, confusion, and sadness using beautiful images including a bird (birds are my artwork focus at present). Lockdown and the Coronavirus crisis meant to me some times of loneliness, not allowed to see my son in California. I spent time helping vulnerable others to feel less isolated, which in turn has helped me. The techniques I have used in my picture are machine applique; free motion quilting; hand embroidery; hand applique and beading.

Lockdown - by Annette Turnbull

Lockdown

And I couldn’t escape the waking dream of infected fleas

in the warp and weft of soggy cloth by the tailor’s hearth

in ye olde Eyam. Then couldn’t un-see

the Boundary Stone, that cock-eyed dice with its six dark holes,

thimbles brimming with vinegar wine purging the plagued coins.

Which brought to mind the sorry story of Emmott Syddall and Rowland Torre,

star-crossed lovers on either side of the quarantine line

whose wordless courtship spanned the river till she came no longer.

But slept again, and dreamt this time

of the exiled yaksha sending word to his lost wife on a passing cloud,

a cloud that followed an earthly map of camel trails and cattle tracks,

streams like necklaces, fan-tailed peacocks, painted elephants,

embroidered bedspreads of meadows and hedges,

bamboo forests and snow-hatted peaks, waterfalls, creeks,

the hieroglyphs of wide-winged cranes and the glistening lotus flower after rain,

the air hypnotically see-through, rare,

the journey a ponderous one at times, long and slow but necessarily so.


Simon Armitage

Artist statement by Annette Turnbull

Inspiration taken from the poem Lockdown by Simon Armitage


In my picture I have used various methods of colouring fabric including gelli printing, transfer printing, batik and stamping. Additional techniques used include wet felting and needlefelting, handmade paper beads, machine and hand embroidery, stitched origami, weaving, applique and cutwork. This poem was chosen because I like the way it drifts from one image to another. During this time I have so totally missed a very important part of my grandchildren’s childhoods, particularly my granddaughter who learnt to walk and talk during lockdown. But many people have lost so much more because of Coronavirus so I just thank my lucky stars that I have just lost time.

Lockdown (Scotland) How did we get here? - by Mak Tully

Lockdown, (Scotland) How did we get here?


In December 2019 in a city called Wuhan

that’s where the novel coronavirus first began

Then in February 2020 it was given a name

COVID 19, like SARS or MERS, but not the same


France was the first in Europe to record a death

followed by a British victim in a Diamond Princess berth

The 13th of March took Scotland into its toll

Governments agreed stopping the spread was their goal


It was the 23rd of March 2020 when the announcement was made

Let me be blunt…we’re going into lockdown, the First Minister said

Stay home, stay safe, protect the NHS

We need to work together to get out of this mess


Guidance soon became law to quell resistance

go out only if essential, wear a mask and socially distance

No one is safe, nor exempt from its grip

Even Boris Johnson found himself on oxygen and a drip


Throughout April the situation was bleak; hospitals and ICU filled to overflowing

Numbers of positive cases and deaths persistently growing

Doctors and nurses were in short supply, people were continuing to die

The most vulnerable in care homes had been fed a lie

The situation seemed very bleak

then on the 6th of May we were told the numbers in Scotland had dropped that week

Was there a glimmer of light, of hope?

Just when we doubted our ability to cope?


As the month progressed, testing was rolled out

I’ve just got a cold, not COVID, was the shout

But was there a stigma attached to a positive result

Were people shunned and avoided, the subject of insult?


Quite the opposite appeared to be the case

People wanted to help, even if they couldn’t do it face to face

Food parcels on doorsteps were a growing sight

clapping for the NHS on a Thursday night


Sometimes, as in Nashe’s litany

a plague provides its own epiphany

a sense of community, compassion and kindness

awakens  from its unconscious blindness


In a world where privilege offers no protection

There are no barriers to connection

We are all as one, the same

We all go to where from once we came


Betsy B Anderson


Artist Statement by Mak Tully

Inspiration from poem Lockdown (Scotland) How did we get here? by Betsy Bruce Anderson


I have woven the background, using Scottish wool, J&S Shetland Wool, shade 142 (Blue) and Rowan felted tweed, shade 159 (Dark Grey); on a table top loom.

I then created a cabin style panel of cloth, using pieces of scrap, cotton fabrics in blue and white, the colours of the Scottish flag. I chose three shades of blue thread to stitch symbols onto the panel, in a gradient from dark blue to light blue. I used the stitches to represent the deaths, NHS being the plus signs, two fly stitches sewn on together to make a W for Wuhan, and the cruise ship is simplified by the shape of the front of the ship with a diamond shape in it.  The lockdown is in the middle of the panel as a spiral of stitches with chain stitch running out along the width of the panel. I added a flash of green as the virus itself and carried this throughout and down into the woven parts of the piece in the forms of rag strips of fabric (hand dyed with onions and red cabbage) and pieces of the white sheeting I used in the stitched cabin style panel. I stitched the panel on to the weave.

I chose a wooden dowel rod to attach to the whole piece, for hanging  and I weaved in some of the green thread used to create the virus symbols over the hanging stick and added some more rag strips of fabric, I also burnished the ends of the dowel stick to add more detail. I attached a double string for hanging purposes.


I chose the poem because my sister is a poet and writer and we were discussing this project and she let me read this poem, it completely encompassed what the journey had been to lockdown in Scotland and I felt that I could and would like to create a piece of textile art that would reflect it.


Lockdown has had its ups and downs for me personally. I have enjoyed learning more about internet related activities and have met some new virtual friends throughout it,  that I hope one day to meet in person. The down side was the isolation and the fear, fearing that loved ones would catch the virus and not being able to see family and friends, the physical contact.


The Road not taken - by Jane Bretz

The Road Not Taken


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveller, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;


Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Through as for that, the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.


I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.


Robert Frost

Artist Statement by Jane Bretz

Inspiration taken from the poem The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost


I chose this poem as it felt personally appropriate to me. The Corona virus lockdown has given me space, but also a feeling of great frustration as the long wait to see my son and grandchildren in Australia goes on and on!! My picture was created using painting, free-motion machine stitching and hand embroidery.

Earth’s Company/Ode to Heaven - by Jenny Jarvis

Ode to Heaven (Extract)


Glorious shapes have life in thee

Earth and all earth’s company

Living globes which ever throng

Thy deep chasms and wildernesses

And green worlds that glide along.


Percy Bysshe Shelly

Artist Statement by Jenny Jarvis

Inspiration from the poem Ode to Heaven by Percy Bysshe Shelley


I have called this picture Earth’s Company. It features lobster and hermit crabs having a picnic on the sea floor. They making use of all the rubbish they have found and putting it to good use in their underwater tea party. I think that this is probably the most loveliest poem that I have ever read. The book that I found it in is one that I would never part with.

Monarch of the Glen/Legends of Glenorchy - by Jenny Jarvis

Legends of Glenorchy


When the first day-star’s clear cool light

Chasing the night’s shadows grey

With silver touched each rocky height

That girded wild Glen-Strae

Uprose the Monarch of the Glen

Majestic from his lair

Surveyed the scene with piecing ken

And snuffed the fragrant air.


Poet unknown possibly by Edwin Landseer

to accompany his painting

The Monarch of the Glen

Artist Statement by Jenny Jarvis

Inspiration from the poem Legends of Glenochay


I was inspired by the Landseers painting mainly because there was a period when every place we visited had a copy of this picture on the wall. Even friends in the village have copies on their walls so I came to the conclusion that it was trying to tell me something.

The picture is made of all recycled materials that had another life before hand, under the clouds in the sky are ink stains and holes.

Even the threads have been retained from the stitching, nothing went to waste. It was quite a lot of fun to work on during the first lockdown.

Nature Trail - by Umut Augustin

Nature Trail

At the bottom of my garden

There's a hedgehog and a frog

And a lot of creepy-crawlies

Living underneath a log,

There's a baby daddy long legs

And an easy-going snail

And a family of woodlice,

All are on my nature trail.


There are caterpillars waiting

For their time to come to fly,

There are worms turning the earth over

As ladybirds fly by,

Birds will visit, cats will visit

But they always chose their time

And I've even seen a fox visit

This wild garden of mine.

Squirrels come to nick my nuts

And busy bees come buzzing

And when the night time comes

Sometimes some dragonflies come humming,

My garden mice are very shy

And I've seen bats that growl

And in my garden I have seen

A very wise old owl.


My garden is a lively place

There's always something happening,

There's this constant search for food

And then there's all that flowering,

When you have a garden

You will never be alone

And I believe we all deserve

A garden of our own.


Benjamin Zephaniah

Artist Statement by Umut Augustin

Inspiration from the poem Nature Trail by Benjamin Zephaniah


During lockdown I was fortunate enough to use my garden, escape from the four walls and relax in my back yard. My garden was my sanctuary and the most enjoyable space I spent most of my time,that is when it was not raining in Birmingham, West Midlands. The poem I selected to stitch about reflects the life of a garden, explaining the curious events taking place or animals that visit. I absolutely love reading this poem as it often allows me to imagine lots of lovely particulars. To complete my stitch in poetry, I have used a variety of techniques to create an abstract background of my garden. I reimagined my garden space to host space to some of the animals that are mentioned in the poem. I added an extra animal, a pink embroidered rabbit to include our family pet (Norris) in the abstract garden. I used applique to decorate the surface and gathering to create grass like effect with surface embellishments to include sequins, beads and buttons. I hope, anyone looking at my embroidery can see the abstract correlation between the poem and the art work, equally enjoying the visual journey the embroidery offers.                       

Our Revels now are ended - by Julieanne Long

Our revels now are ended


Our revels now are ended. These our actors,

As I foretold you, were all spirits and

Are melted into air, into thin air:

And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,

The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,

The solemn temples, the great globe itself,

Yea, all which inherit, shall dissolve

And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,

Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff

As dreams are made on, and our little life

Is rounded with a sleep.


William Shakespeare

From The Tempest, Act 4 scene 1

Artist Statement by Julieanne Long

Inspiration taken from Our revels now are ended  By William Shakespeare



I selected this poem as for me, it sums up how fragile life is. We might build huge buildings, have complicated networks and grand plans, but the corona virus brings us up swiftly to acknowledge our limitations.

Also, on a more personal level, I like to attend the Globe in London each year as a groundling, unfortunately I have been unable to do this. I have however managed to watch a lot of Shakespeare filmed live from The Globe and the RSC in Stratford.

I decided to work in the round over an embroidery hoop to represent the Globe. I made the figure of Ariel out of wire, silk net, and stitch. I wanted the figure to be insubstantial and ethereal. I used needlelace stitching, and more silk net to attach him to the hoop.

The Dormouse and the Doctor

A.A. Milne



There once was a Dormouse who lived in a bed

Of delphiniums (blue) and geraniums (red)

And all the day long he'd a wonderful view

Of geraniums (red) and delphiniums (blue)

 

A Doctor came hurrying round, and he said:

"Tut-tut, I am sorry to find you in bed.

Just say 'Ninety-nine', while I look at your chest...

Don't you find that chrysanthemums answer the best?"


The Dormouse looked round at the view and replied

(When he'd said "Ninety-nine") that he'd tried and he'd tried,

And much the most answering things that he knew

Were geraniums (red) and delphiniums (blue).

 

The Doctor stood frowning and shaking his head,

And he took up his shiny silk hat as he said:

"What the patient requires is a change," and he went

To see some chrysanthemum people in Kent.

 

The Dormouse lay there, and he gazed at the view

Of geraniums (red) and delphiniums (blue),

And he knew there was nothing he wanted instead

Of delphiniums (blue) and geraniums (red).

 

The Doctor came back and, to show what he meant,

He had brought some chrysanthemum cuttings from Kent.

"Now these," he remarked, "give a much better view

Than geraniums (red) and delphiniums (blue)."

 

They took out their spades and they dug up the bed

Of delphiniums (blue) and geraniums (red),

And they planted chrysanthemums (yellow and white).

"And now," said the Doctor, "we'll soon have you right."


The Dormouse looked out, and he said with a sigh:

"I suppose all these people know better than I.

It was silly, perhaps, but I did like the view

Of geraniums (red) and delphiniums (blue)."


The Doctor came round and examined his chest,

And ordered him Nourishment, Tonics, and Rest.

"How very effective," he said, as he shook

The thermometer, "all these chrysanthemums look!"

 

The Dormouse turned over to shut out the sight

Of the endless chrysanthemums (yellow and white).

"How lovely," he thought, "to be back in a bed

Of delphiniums (blue) and geraniums (red)."

 

The Doctor said, "Tut! It's another attack!"

And ordered him Milk and Massage-of-the-back,

And Freedom-from-worry and Drives-in-a-car,

And murmured, "How sweet your chrysanthemums are!"

 

The Dormouse lay there with his paws to his eyes,

And imagined himself such a pleasant surprise:

"I'll pretend the chrysanthemums turn to a bed

Of delphiniums (blue) and geraniums (red)!"

 

The Doctor next morning was rubbing his hands,

And saying, "There's nobody quite understands

These cases as I do! The cure has begun!

How fresh the chrysanthemums look in the sun!"

 

The Dormouse lay happy, his eyes were so tight

He could see no chrysanthemums, yellow or white.

And all that he felt at the back of his head

Were delphiniums (blue) and geraniums (red).

 

And that is the reason (Aunt Emily said)

If a Dormouse gets in a chrysanthemum bed,

You will find (so Aunt Emily says) that he lies

Fast asleep on his front with his paws to his eyes.


Artist Statement by Linda Connell

Inspiration from the poem The Dormouse and the Doctor


Some colleagues and I made a start on the tops of the delphiniums when we 'hot desked' a place at a Kate Dowty workshop at the Old Chapel Textile Centre.  I finished off the delphiniums and made the piece a bit bigger.  Then I found this lovely poem and went much bigger still, incorporating the geraniums and the chrysanthemums.  Can you see the sleeping dormouse?    

The Dormouse and the Doctor - by Linda Connell

My Home

This is the place that I love the best,

A little brown house, like a ground-bird’s nest,

Hid among grasses, and vines, and trees,

Summer retreat of the birds and bees.


The tenderest light that ever was seen

Sifts through the vine-made window screen-

Sifts and quivers, and flits and falls

On home-made carpets and gray-hung walls.


All through June the west wind free

The breath of clover brings to me.

All through the languid July day

I catch the scent of new-mown hay.


The morning-glories and scarlet vine

Over the doorway twist and twine;

And every day, when the house is still,

The humming-bird comes to the window-sill.

My Home - by Julie Drury

In the cunningest chamber under the sun

I sink to sleep when the day is done;

And am waked at morn, in my snow-white bed,

By a singing bird on the roof o’erhead.


Better than treasures brought from Rome,

Are the living pictures I see at home-

My aged father, with frosted hair,

And mother’s face, like a painting rare.


Far from the city’s dust and heat,

I get but sounds and odours sweet.

Who can wonder I love to stay,

Week after week, here hidden away,

In this sly nook that I love the best-

This little brown house like a ground-bird’s nest?


By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Artist Statement by Julie Drury

Inspiration taken from the poem
My Home by Ella Wilcox


I used a variety of images that have significance to me, my home and Covid 19. I adapted ideas that I had wanted to experiment with for a long time. Lockdown and this project gave me that opportunity. Techniques I used include appliqué, English paper piecing-hexagon patchwork, printing onto fabric, machine and hand stitching. Both previously purchased and recycled fabrics have been used. I have also added paper and additional objects to give a variety of textures.


I chose this poem because during lockdown the focus of my life was to stay at home ‘week after week hidden away’. Our little thatched cottage ‘far from the ‘city’ was my safe place amid the anxiety, fear and uncertainty of the pandemic. During 2020 I did not experience being an ‘empty nester’ as I imagined I would. I was able spend unexpected time at home with my daughter. 2020 was a year of milestones in her life, sitting ‘A’ levels exams, leaving school and leaving home for her 1st year at university. We faced upsetting and challenging moments whilst following the rules to # Stay Home to keep everyone safe.


Living in an old cottage means that we are surrounded by history. Inside I discovered fragments of old wallpaper & paint colours whilst doing some decorating. Outside hours were spent working in the garden where I dug up many discarded pieces of broken blue & white china and the buttons. I decided to secure them onto a calico base using gold embroidery thread to emulate the Japanese Kintsugi method of repairing pottery. On my daily walks along old Drovers tracks I unearthed a couple of Shepherds crowns. The Kensitas embroidered pansy is a reference to the name of my home, Heartsease Cottage.


In the poem, nature around the home is an important feature along with the family members. To reflect this idea I have used photocopied images of pheasant feathers ‘ground nesting’ birds that regularly visit our garden. The feathers along with feather stitch form a protective frame around my textile picture with the home it’s centre. I embroidered over our signatures for posterity.


Covid is represented by my interpretation of an image of the virus seen on the BBC News and the newspaper print used for the patchwork templates. I used fabrics from my stash including the beautiful Liberty lawns. These pieces were left over after I used them to make face masks.


Despite tacking all the elements securely in place, several pieces moved whilst I stitched around them. I have left them ‘off kilter’ just as the lockdowns during 2020 have knocked us askew. The inclusion of a rainbow in my picture gives hope that ‘Tomorrow will be a better day’.*

* Words spoken by Captain Sir Tom Moore

Dusk, before the homing light.


There’s something in the peace of evening skies

That catches at my breath and makes me think

Whoever paints those clouds, with their disguise

Of subtle blue and soft reflected pink,

Must know the lighthouse draws each boat ashore,

As surely as the ropes get drawn aboard.

Artist Statement by Carol Smith

Inspired by the poem Dusk, before the homing light by C.Connell


I was inspired by this poem which had echoes of the fear and longing experienced by us all over the Covid months. In the end there will be acceptance and peace again.

Dusk, before the homing light - by Carol Smith

The choppy seas, that shook each straining mast

With threatening waves of untold tragedy,

Have stilled to gentle, lapping licks at last.

The beacon’s light will quell uncertainty

The harbour’s glow a welcome open door.

The evening’s calmness finally assured.


C. Connell. 2021